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Jul 19, 2022

Belizean Artists Improving their Craft ahead of International Music Festival

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to a couple of the vendors that will be partaking in the first-ever Belize International Music and Food Festival in San Pedro Town. And while those vendors are preparing for their culinary displays, our Belizean artists are doing the same. For over the past several weeks, the fourteen Belizean artists on the lineup have been training with a creative director and a choreographer to improve their performance for the domestic and international guests at the festival. News Five’s Duane Moody stopped in at one of the practice sessions and files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize International Music and Food Festival is less than two weeks away and as the final details of the first-of-its-kind festival are being ironed out, anticipation continues to build for those planning to attend. The lineup for the two-day music festival is set, and while many are looking forward to headline artists, such as Koffee and Patrice Roberts, there are fourteen Belizean artists who are also being featured. You will be in for a treat as these artists are raising the standard of their performance.


William Neal

William Neal, Creative Director

“ Very often we think that we have local artists and so they are substandard. The idea here that the B.T.B. has taken is to attach a choreographer and a creative director so that we package what they are bringing to the stage.”


….that packaging includes working on the artist’s individual stage presence. For those who have experience performing for international events, it’s about perfecting their craft, introducing dancers into the mix and ensuring that they are vocally strong, but putting on a performance. While we only just caught up with them over the weekend, rehearsals began about a month ago.


William Neal

“It moves from just having them sing a song to perform. So there is choreography, even the way they move on the stage, as well as where they interact with dancers. So it is really an opportunity to elevate the performances of the Belizean artists to make it comparative to what we see internationally.”

Joseph Stamp Romero

Joseph Stamp Romero, Choreographer

“What’s really helpful is that every artist has their individuality and what we try to do is to look at what each performer brings to the stage and compliment that with movements. So we look at what they want to showcase in San Pedro and how we can best create something that feels real to them and feels artistic to them as well. So the process has been collaborative. Yo have to come out of your comfort zone. And normally my choreographies are more family oriented, they are more youth oriented but it is a comprehensive show and I want to say it is an adult show and so you have to go where the international stage is.”


…that international stage is in San Pedro on July thirtieth and thirty-first at the Saca Chispas Field.  The artists will arguably be putting off their best performances. We captured some of that excitement as they practiced with Centa Stayge Band.


Denise Castillo

Denise Castillo, Belizean Artist

“Everything that’s happening is building up the excitement. I am so looking forward to see all our supporters out that night so I am very excited. I’m gonna bring you talent, and energy and good vibes and we are gonna celebrate and have a good time and I hope to see Belizean people out there in numbers.”


Britney Starr

Britney Starr, Belizean Artist

“When I first got on it, I neva realize how big it. But now, dah like every week when we come here and push and work so hard, I realize that even my performances now, I already see weh thing enhance it so much more. I dah di girl. I noh play, I go up deh and I do weh I need fi do. I love music and music dah my passion so I di go off.”


King Rome

King Rome, Belizean Artist

“Feel overwhelmed because dah wah different side of King Rome unu wah witness, different volume of energy and everything so unu just get ready to see a different type of performance from me.”


Den-z Usher

Den-z Usher, Belizean Artist

“It’s really been great. I have had a couple performances after we start rehearsing and it was much better to me; I felt much more confident. So I definitely di look forward to it.”


TR Shine

TR Shine, Belizean Artist

“It’s a great feeling to work alongside international artists, alongside our very own Belizean artists as well, our very own icons like Supa G, Ernestine and we have all the young guns coming up. At the end of the day, this dah prosperity for the artists dehn, it’s international, dah wah first music and food international fest.”


As the artists are evolving and perfecting their craft, it is expected that beyond the Belize International Music and Food Festival, these artists are cultivating self-discipline and improving the business behind their passion.


William Neal

“The end goal is for them to unlock their potential and for them to realize that if they want to move beyond this misnomer that they are just local artists that they have to really take themselves seriously, their craft seriously and they have to invest. And the investment is not always money; it is time in yourself and in your craft. And it means that when you come to a practice, which we have had every Sunday, it is really to make sure that you are working with a live band and it is not just a DJ and a track. You have that interaction and you have a different sound. And so it is an opportunity to really take your sound and sell it to the audience in a different way.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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